The Chinese symbol of yin-yang is known as Piebald Taijitu that signifies the balancing fusion of opposites. The light half depicts yang, which is more dynamic, warming, upward, and external. The dark half depicts yin, which is more cooling, passive, downward, and internal. The balances of both energies are important to bring you into unity and harmony. So, now you will be reading about some of the yoga and breathing practices that will help in balancing both the energies.
We live in a contemporary world that is very fast-moving and stimulating. We are enclosed by yang activities such as playing sports, working, always active and energetic, and constantly endeavoring for success. From the start, we are taught to max out everything and rarely informed us of the philosophy of relaxation. While being active and strong are important parts of life, but according to the universe, everything should be in balance. Even Mother Nature regenerates and rests.
When you are active and on the go state of mind this is known as a yang element. Nonetheless, too much of this energy can lead to fatigue. And here comes the yoga postures that are muscle strengthening and heat building as in they need exertion of power.
On the other hand, yin is a downward energy in which you are not creating, not moving, and not pushing. You are rather reflecting, observing, and in many forms clearing your thoughts to free your mind. This yin energy in health and fitness allows the tissues to heal and allow the stress in them to be relieved. According to the study, people should include more yin yoga postures in their schedule to get them in touch with their sentiments and emotions. Yin yoga asanas are not about engaging the energy to muscles but about loosening into a pose that is held for a longer time to allow for an intense release within muscles and joints.
Here are simple and effective yoga poses that will give you a little of both. Practice them and experience if you feel more harmonious later.
Cow Pose (Yin)
It is a simple yoga pose in which you body flows between two poses that bring flexibility to the spine and warms the body. To begin, start with your knees and hand in a tabletop setting. Keep your knees directly set below your hips and your elbows, wrists, and shoulders in perpendicular to the floor. Your head should be in a neutral state, eyes focusing on the floor. On inhalation, raise your chest and sitting bones toward the ceiling leaving your belly to expand towards the ground. Raise your head to look forward. Stay in the pose for a few breaths and then exhale while coming back. Repeat this asana 10-15 times.
Child’s Pose (Yin)
Balasana is a relaxing pose which helps stretch your lower body and as well as the upper body. This posture helps in stretching your lower back, shoulders, ankles, hips, and quads. It is a freshman posture that stretches and loosens the muscles while increasing flexibility and betters flowing to the joints, back, and muscles. To start with the pose, sit on your knees, keep your toes together while retaining your knees apart. Sit with your spine straight, take a deep breathing and on an exhalation, lean forward by laying your torso down between your thighs and your arms on the floor beside your torso and free your shoulder towards the floor.
Bridge Pose (Yin)
The Sanskrit name of this posture is Setu Bandhasana, practiced with an unfilled stomach.
This asana stimulates the entire back, including the upper back, hamstrings, and glutes while releasing stress and tension from the joints. It has a lot more other well-being benefits such as it cures sleeplessness, reduces anxiety, improves metabolism, and enhances blood circulation. To commence the exercise, lie flat on your mat with your feet extended on the floor. On a breath, push your body off the floor with your palm pushing on the ground. Your head and neck should lay flat on the mat while the rest of the body in the air. Maintain the pose for a couple of breaths and practice at least 3 times.
Downward Facing Dog (Yang)
The Sanskrit name of this asana is Adho Mukha Svanasana. It appears to be a relaxed pose but it is quite challenging. It tones your upper body, hamstrings, and shoulders all at once. This posture let your body releases the energy, helps relieve stress, and strengthens every one of your muscles. Start on your hands and knees as you extend your elbow and rest your upper back. Widen your fingers steadily through your knuckles and palms. Breathe as you tuck your toes and raise your knees off the ground while pushing the floor off from you as you lift through your pelvis. Hold the posture for 1 minute to get a proper result from the exercise.
Locust Pose (Yang)
This asana is a challenging one as it works on your whole body, including your core. It strengthens the joints and muscles of the buttocks, spine, legs, and back of the arms. Start by lying on your stomach with your arms beside your torso, forehead relaxing on the ground, and palms up. Inhale as you raise your upper torso, head, and shoulder, off the floor by balancing on the lower body. To make it more intense lift your toes upward along with your thighs, balancing on your stomach. Your entire body energy will be used to perform this asana.
This yoga asana concentrates on building the power in every muscle in our body. It is a full-body exercise that works on the complete core, shoulders, arms, spine and more. It helps in growing your chest, glute, thighs, and calf muscles. To begin, you should pretend yourself in a push-up position, and then bend your arms at your elbow and so your upper body weight rests on your forearms. To do it correctly, you need to squeeze your core and glute muscles and hold the pose for as long as you can. Novices should try it for at least 30-40 seconds. Practice this pose daily and you will see the results in no time.